Prosecuting Examination Malpractice Offenders
At the last University Tertiary Matriculation Examination, UTME, held in April this year, the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board, JAMB, said the results of over forty three thousand students who sat for the exam were withheld as a result of widespread malpractices that characterised the assessment.
In the words of the registrar of JAMB, Professor Ishaq Oloyede one hundred and thirty-six candidates were arrested and are undergoing prosecution.
He explained that the arrest was made possible by the use of Closed Circuit Television Cameras, CCTV, in the examination centres.
Report says five of those arrested have been convicted and jailed in Zamfara and Kebbi States for an offence that attracts three to four years imprisonment.
Forty-eight out of the arrests made came from Bauchi State though the culprits cut across the six geo-political zones.
According to Professor Oloyede, some staff of JAMB helped to compromise the system as revealed by CCTV clips.
Subsequently, seventy-six Computer-Based Test, CBT centres have been de-registered for their roles in the malpractices.
At this juncture, it is necessary that laws against examination malpractice be strengthened in the nation.
The Examination Malpractices Act of 1999 deals with delinquent candidates, impersonators, invigilators, agents, principals of schools or employees of examination bodies who, upon conviction, are liable to four years in prison.
It is however sad that one hundred and ninety-three schools that were shut for this problem in 2012 Senior School Certificate Examination, SSCE, served punishment for just two years as examination malpractice is a criminal offence and should be treated as such.
The government must de-emphasize paper qualification which is the motivating factor for the cut-throat competition to secure admission.
Parents and guardians should instill in their children and wards the values of hard work and honesty which will make them prepare well for public examinations.